swallow-cOnce, there was a swallow by the name ‘Kirkiro’. He would cry the whole day- kirrr… kirrr… kirrr, thus everyone called him Kirkiro.

The story goes that in his earlier birth, Kirkiro was born as a man. He worked hard to put two square meals on the table so that his wife and old widowed mother could survive. Kirkiro loved both women very much.  And was willing to do anything to make them happy. But there was not enough work for him in the village. So he decided to go to another village to look for work and took his wife and his mother along. As the three walked towards the next village, they came up to a river. Neither woman knew how to swim. So the man carried his wife on his shoulders and held his old mother’s hand and started wading through the river waters.

A group of men walking across the bank saw them and shouted, “Look at that selfish man! He is carrying his young wife on his shoulders while his old mother has to struggle wading through waters. What a shame!”

Kirkiro heard their words and asked his wife to get off his shoulder. He now carried his mother on his shoulder and made his wife wade through the waters. As they walked, the river started rising until it reached their mouths and entered their noses. His wife drowned. Kirkiro managed to ferry his old mother across but she could not bear the shock of her daughter in law’s death and she too died.

Kirkiro was heartbroken. He had lost both the women dear to him. He felt if had not listened to the men, at least his wife would be alive  and he would have carried on with his life even after his mother were to get drowned in the waters.  Stricken by extreme grief, he stopped eating.

Soon he too died. He was reborn as a swallow. And it is believed that he is still looking for his beloved wife and in grief he wails the whole day kirrr… kirrr.

Collected by : Vidya Kamat

Text: Amone, Ek Lokjeen by Jayanti Nayak, Goa Konkani Academy, 1993

Location: Goa

Image : swallow

Image Source: Wikipedia